The equestrian world is very wide when we talk about breeds, disciplines and competitions. A classical dressage horse is prized for its movements and elegance, while a cowboy dressage horse must perform movements and maneuvers that display its skills. Behind all these magnificent horses exists a breed, or lineage. In this article we focus on explaining which are the most sought after breeds and some interesting curiosities for fans of this sector which carries so much history and tradition.
- Andalusian horse, or Pure Spanish Breed (PRE)
This horse, originating from Andalusia, is officially termed the Pure Spanish Breed, or PRE (for the Spanish: Pura Raza Española) and is more commonly known colloquially as a Spanish Horse.
The Andalusian is one of the oldest and most highly acclaimed horse breeds in the world. Since its origins, this Iberian horse has been very much loved by the nobility for being one of the best horses during war conflicts due to its robustness and strength, combined with its beauty, characterized by a thick mane and tail. It is not a breed with a violent character, but is highly intelligent and sensitive. This horse has played an important role in the development of new equine breeds across the Americas and Europe.
Interesting fact: this outstanding breed has also found its place on the cinema screen in films such as the Lord of the Rings triology, and also as the horse that Mel Gibson rides in the epic film Braveheart.
The Arabian horse hails from the desert, between the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf and towards the North reaching as far as Iran and Iraq. Despite being a hot blood horse, the Arabian has a very good temperament. It is fiery and active, but at the same time very docile and patient. It stands out for its distinctive appearance, with a high tail carriage and a chiseled, wedge shaped head, large eyes, wide nostrils and small muzzle. It is often used to improve other races, to add to their velocity, refinement, resistance and bone density. Nowadays, the Arabian bloodline is found in nearly all modern horse breeds.
Interesting fact: the Arabian has a short back, high tail, concave and angular profile and possesses 4 bones less than other races.
This breed has its origins in the United States, specifically the state of Idaho, where its breeding was developed around the 1930s. Amongst its characteristics, it stands out with its colorful coat distinguished by spots of a leopard, spotted, mottled or snowflake pattern. It is one of the fastest horses that exists. The state of Idaho, seeing the importance of the appaloosa horse to both its culture and history, decided to name it as an icon and historical legacy of the state. As such, in 1975 it was named Idaho’s state horse.
Interesting fact: a race that you have certainly seen on the big screen. These horses are considered to be one of the horse breeds that Hollywood has filmed the most.
- Quarter Horse
A distinctive equine that is well known in the United States. It’s very name, which comes from “quarter of a mile”, derives from its primary characteristic: its sprinting speed. Their speed makes them one of the most exported breeds in the country. They are horses that come from a mixture of Iberian and Oriental breeds. Today, it is the most widely used horse in western riding. The majority have a short, stocky body with a long neck and a head that is relatively small in proportion to its body. The Quarter Horse is known for its good temperament. In fact, its docile and calm nature is one of the many reasons why this horse is so popular.
Interesting fact: it is one of the most popularly used horses in the world and one of its features is that it gets on very well with people.